Collaborative Professional Development Opportunities for Teachers
Teacher professional development can be a frustrating experience. It is often dictated by the needs of the district, kind of a necessary evil. The district may be addressing new initiatives or the accreditation process. One option for teachers is to develop their own Personal Learning Network (PLN). I am a big fan of PLN’s. I have written posts on The Power of Personal Learning Networks and Using Google+ as a PLN. Despite my enthusiasm for PLN’s though, they may not be for everyone. Some teachers still prefer face to face interaction, and there are definite benefits to getting out of the classroom and collaborating with our colleagues in a way that we can guide our learning. There are a few opportunities coming up in Connecticut where I live. Here are a few that I am aware of:
There is a conference tomorrow (10/25) for the Connecticut Association of School Librarians. I have attended this before, and there are a lot of great professional learning opportunities for educators interested in learning how to use technology in their classroom.
The Newtown school district is having a Taste of Tech mini conference on November 8. They have some great presenters lined up and are looking for more. This is going to be a great event.
We are putting together an Educational Technology Collaboration Day at Fairfield University through the Educational Technology Program. It will be an open forum where teachers can prepare Internet-based poster sessions. Here are some examples created by Fairfield University students. Sharing ideas in a poster session format allows teachers to take the focus off presenting to spend more time seeing other teacher’s ideas and strategies. They can be around to answer questions about what they are sharing and still have plenty of time to see what else is going on. We will also be providing lunch and coffee/tea. Be sure to register soon.
I encourage school and district leaders to take advantage of opportunities like these and maybe even host their own events. The teachers can always count these learning events as professional development, especially if they present. Please let me know if you are aware of similar events and I will help spread the word.